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Uyghur genocide

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Uyghur genocide
Part of Xinjiang conflict
A photo of many Uyghur men, dressed in identical blue clothing, sitting down in rows. On the right hand side of the photo, there is a barbed wire fence. The men are within a re-education camp.
Detainees in a Xinjiang internment camp listen to "de-radicalization" talks
Xinjiang in China (de-facto).svg
Xinjiang, highlighted red, shown within China
LocationXinjiang, China
Date2014–present
TargetUyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs, and other Turkic Muslims
Attack type
Forced abortion, forced sterilization, forced birth control, rape (including gang rape), forced labor, torture, internment, brainwashing
Victims>1 million detained
Perpetrator People's Republic of China
MotiveSinicization, assimilation, religious persecution

Since 2014,[1] the Chinese government, under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the administration of CCP general secretary Xi Jinping, has pursued a policy leading to more than one million Muslims[2][3][4][5][6] (the majority of them Uyghurs) being held in secretive detention camps without any legal process[7][8] in what has become the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since the Second World War.[9] Critics of the policy have described it as the Sinicization of Xinjiang and have called it an ethnocide or cultural genocide,[10][11][12][13][14][15] while some activists, independent NGOs, human rights experts, academics, government officials, and the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile have called it a genocide.[16][17][18][19][20]

In particular, critics have highlighted the concentration of Uyghurs in state-sponsored internment camps,[21][22] suppression of Uyghur religious practices,[23][24] political indoctrination,[25] severe ill-treatment,[26] and testimonials of alleged human rights abuses including forced sterilization and contraception.[27][28] Chinese government statistics show that from 2015 to 2018, birth rates in the mostly Uyghur regions of Hotan and Kashgar plunged by more than 60%.[29] In the same period, the birth rate of the whole country decreased by 9.69%, from 12.07 to 10.9 per 1,000 people.[30] Chinese authorities acknowledged that birth rates dropped by almost a third in 2018 in Xinjiang, but denied reports of forced sterilization and genocide.[31] Birth rates have continued to plummet in Xinjiang, falling nearly 24% in 2019 alone when compared to just 4.2% nationwide.[29]

International reactions have been mixed, with 54 United Nations (UN) member states initially supporting China's policies in Xinjiang,[32][33] a number that decreased to 45 in October 2020,[34] and 39 countries condemning China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang.[35] In July and August 2020, human rights groups have called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate Chinese officials over allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide. The United States was the first country to declare the human rights abuses a genocide, announcing its determination on January 19, 2021.[36][37] Canada's House of Commons approved a non-binding motion on February 22, 2021, to recognize China's actions as genocide by a vote of 266-0, with two abstentions.[38][39][40]

In December 2020, the ICC declined to take investigative action against China, on the basis that it did not have jurisdiction over China with respect to the majority of the alleged crimes.[41] The ICC also ruled in a separate assessment that transfers of Uyghurs to China from Cambodia and Tajikistan, both ICC members, to not open an investigation, saying that the actus reus appears to have been committed solely by nationals of China within the territory of China, which is not a member of the ICC.[41][42]

Background

A photograph of a Uyghur man standing. He is wearing a hat and sporting a goatee.
A Uyghur man (front) from Kashgar, a city in Xinjiang, China.

Language

The 1980s were a period of developing support for minority languages; the Chinese government was providing various writing platforms and creating multiple language materials to accommodate the minority population, which included Uyghurs. The Uyghur language has around 10 million speakers, and the language is shared with other minority groups in the region.[43]

In 1984, some of the essential laws to date were put in place; the Chinese nationality law, which grants all citizens—regardless of linguistic background—the right to take legal action with their language and supports the development of different minority cultural literature and historic preservation.[44]

In the early years, national minority identification was seen as essential to national development despite the condescension these minorities face; negative perceptions towards minority languages led to negative stereotypes about the Uyghurs. Also, Standard Mandarin Chinese was required to establish national solidarity, at the expense of other varieties of Chinese and other languages.[45]

Xinjiang conflict

Historically, various Chinese dynasties have exerted control over parts of modern-day Xinjiang.[46] The region came under modern Chinese rule as a result of the westward expansion of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, which also saw the conquests of Tibet and Mongolia.[47]

After the 1928 assassination of Yang Zengxin, the governor of the semi-autonomous Kumul Khanate in east Xinjiang under the Republic of China, Jin Shuren, succeeded Yang as the governor of the Khanate. On the death of the Kamul Khan Maqsud Shah in 1930, Jin entirely abolished the Khanate and took control of the region as a warlord.[48] In 1933, the breakaway First East Turkestan Republic was established in the Kumul Rebellion.[49] In 1934, the First Turkestan Republic was conquered by warlord Sheng Shicai with the aid of the Soviet Union before Sheng reconciled with the Republic of China in 1942.[50] In 1944, the Ili Rebellion led to the establishment of the Second East Turkestan Republic which depended on the "tacit consent" of the Soviet Union for trade, arms, and its continued existence until it was absorbed into the People's Republic of China in 1949.[51]

From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Chinese government sponsored a mass migration of Han Chinese to the region and introduced several policies that were designed to suppress the cultural identity and religion of the Uyghurs.[52] During this period, several Uyghur separatist organizations emerged with potential support from the Soviet Union, with the East Turkestan People's Party being the largest organization in 1968.[53] During the 1970s, the Soviets supported the United Revolutionary Front of East Turkestan (URFET) to fight the Chinese.[54]

In 1997, a police roundup and the execution of 30 suspected separatists during Ramadan led to large demonstrations in February 1997 which resulted in the Ghulja incident, a People's Liberation Army (PLA) crackdown which resulted in at least nine deaths.[55] The Ürümqi bus bombings later that month killed nine people and injured 68 and the responsibility for them was claimed by Uyghur exile groups.[56] In March 1997, a bus bomb killed two people with responsibility claimed by Uyghur separatists and the Turkey-based Organisation for East Turkistan Freedom.[57]

In July 2009, riots broke out in Xinjiang in response to a violent dispute between Uyghur and Han Chinese workers in a factory which resulted in over one hundred deaths.[58] Following the riots, Uyghur terrorists killed dozens of Han Chinese in coordinated attacks from 2009 to 2016.[59][60] These included the August 2009 syringe attacks,[61] the 2011 bomb-and-knife attack in Hotan,[62] the March 2014 knife attack in the Kunming railway station,[63] the April 2014 bomb-and-knife attack in the Ürümqi railway station,[64] and the May 2014 car-and-bomb attack in an Ürümqi street market.[65] The attacks were conducted by Uyghur separatists, with some orchestrated by the UN-designated terrorist organization[66] Turkistan Islamic Party (formerly the East Turkistan Islamic Movement).[67][68][69][70]

Government policies

Xinjiang police job advertisements by year
Graph of number of re-education related government procurement bids in Xinjiang
Number of "re-education" related government procurement bids in Xinjiang

Initial "Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism"

In April 2010, after the July 2009 Ürümqi riots, Zhang Chunxian replaced the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary Wang Lequan, who had been behind religious policies in Xinjiang for 14 years.[71] In May 2014, China launched the "Strike Hard Campaign Against Violent Terrorism" in Xinjiang in response to growing tensions between the Han Chinese and the Uyghur population of Xinjiang itself.[72] In announcing the campaign, CCP general secretary Xi Jinping stated that "practice has proved that our party's ruling strategy in Xinjiang is correct and must be maintained in the long run" in May 2014.[73]

Regulations since 2017

Chen Quanguo succeeded as Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang in 2016. New bans and regulations were implemented on April 1, 2017. Abnormally long beards and wearing veils in public were both banned.[74] Not watching state-run television or listening to radio broadcasts, refusing to abide by family planning policies, or refusing to allow one's children to attend state-run schools were all prohibited.[74] Giving a child a name that would "exaggerate religious fervor," such as Muhammad, was made illegal. Along with this, many mosques were demolished or destroyed.[74]

Alleged "re-education" efforts began in 2014 and were expanded in 2017.[75][76] At this time, internment camps were built for the housing of students of the "re-education" programs, most of whom are Uyghurs. The Chinese government did not acknowledge their existence until 2018 and called them "vocational education and training centers."[75][77] This name was changed to "vocational training centers" in 2019. The camps tripled in size from 2018 to 2019 despite the Chinese government claiming that most of the detainees had been released.[75]

Counter-terrorism justification

China has used the global "war on terror" of the 2000s to frame separatist and ethnic unrest as acts of Islamist terrorism to legitimize its counter-insurgency policies in Xinjiang.[78]

In August 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination decried the "broad definition of terrorism and vague references to extremism" used by Chinese legislation, noting that there were numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities on the "pretext of countering terrorism".[79]

In 2019, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, Sam Brownback, and Nathan Sales have each said that the Chinese government consistently misuses "counterterrorism" as a pretext for cultural suppression and human rights abuses.[80][81]

Cultural effects

Mosques

Mosque in Tuyoq, Xinjiang

There are about 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, an average of one mosque for every 530 Muslims.[82]

In 2005, Human Rights Watch reported that "information scattered in official sources suggests that retaliation" against mosques not sponsored by the Chinese State was prevalent and that the Xinjiang Party Secretary expressed that Uyghurs "should not have to build new places for religious activities."[83] The Chinese government prohibited minors from participating in religious activities in Xinjiang in a manner that, according to Human Rights Watch, "has no basis in Chinese law."[83]

According to an analysis from The Guardian, over one-third of mosques and religious sites in China suffered "significant structural damage" between 2016 and 2018, with nearly one-sixth of all mosques and shrines completely razed.[84] This includes the tomb of Imam Asim, a mud tomb in the Taklamakan Desert, and the Ordam shrine at the mazar of Ali Arslan Khan.[85] According to The Guardian, Uyghur Muslims believe that repeated pilgrimages to these tombs would fulfill a Muslim's obligation to complete the Hajj.[84]

Id Kah Mosque is the largest mosque in Xinjiang and the largest in China.[86][87] Radio Free Asia, a United States government–funded, nonprofit international broadcasting corporation, reported that in 2018, a plaque containing Quranic scriptures, that had long hung outside the front entrance of the mosque, had been removed by the authorities to "eliminate Uyghur faith, literary works, and language".[88]

Education

In 2011, schools in Xinjiang transitioned to "bilingual education." The majority of the instruction occurs in Mandarin Chinese, with only a few hours a week devoted to Uyghur literature. Despite this emphasis on "bilingual education," few Han children are taught to speak Uyghur.[89]

Uyghur students are also increasingly being sent to residential schools far from their home communities where they cannot speak Uyghur.[90]

According to a 2020 report from Radio Free Asia, monolingual Mandarin Chinese education has been introduced in an influential high school in Kashgar which formerly provided bilingual education.[91]

Sayragul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh teacher who later fled China, described how she was forced to teach at an internment camp, saying the camp was "cramped and unhygienic" with her detainee students given only basic sustenance. Sauytbay added that authorities forced the detainees to learn Chinese, sit through indoctrination classes, and make public confessions. Furthermore, she mentioned that rape and torture were commonplace and that authorities forced detainees to take a particular medicine that left some individuals sterile or cognitively impaired.[92]

Detained academics and religious figures

The Uyghur Human Rights Project has identified at least 386 Uyghur intellectuals. They were detained and have disappeared since early 2017 as victims of the massive campaign of ethnoreligious repression carried out by the Chinese government in the Uyghur homeland.[93]

Uyghur economist Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life in prison in 2014. Amnesty International called his sentence unjustified and deplorable.[94] Rahile Dawut, a prominent Uyghur anthropologist who studied and preserved Islamic shrines, traditional songs, and folklore, has been disappeared.[95]

According to Radio Free Asia, the Chinese government jailed Uyghur Imam Abduheber Ahmet after he took his son to a religious school not sanctioned by the Chinese state. Ahmet had previously been lauded by China as a "five-star" imam but was sentenced in 2018 to over five years in prison for his action.[96]

Cemeteries

In September 2019, Agence France-Presse (AFP) visited 13 destroyed cemeteries across four cities and witnessed exposed bones remaining in four of them. Through an examination of satellite images, the press agency determined that the grave destruction campaign had been ongoing for more than a decade.[97] According to a previous AFP report, three cemeteries in Xayar County were among dozens of Uyghur cemeteries destroyed in Xinjiang between 2017 and 2019. The unearthed human bones from the cemeteries in Xayar County were discarded.[98][99] In January 2020, a CNN report based on an analysis of Google Maps satellite imagery said that Chinese authorities have destroyed more than 100 graveyards in Xinjiang, primarily Uyghur ones. CNN has linked the destruction of the cemeteries to the government's campaign to control the Uyghurs and Muslims more broadly. The Chinese government terms the cemetery and tomb destruction as "relocations" due to the poor conditions that the cemeteries were in and claim that the dead are re-interred in new standardized cemeteries.[100][101][102]

This is all part of China's campaign to effectively eradicate any evidence of who we are, to effectively make us like the Han Chinese. ... That's why they're destroying all of these historical sites, these cemeteries, to disconnect us from our history, from our fathers and our ancestors.

— Salih Hudayar, whose great-grandparents' graveyard was demolished[98][99]

Among the destroyed cemeteries is Sultanim Cemetery (37°07′02″N 79°56′04″E / 37.11722°N 79.93444°E / 37.11722; 79.93444), the central Uyghur historical graveyard with generations of burials, and the most sacred shrine in Hotan city, which was demolished and converted into a parking lot between 2018 and 2019.[103][104][105][106][107] CGTN, a Chinese state-owned international channel affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, claimed that the graves were relocated.[108]

Marriage incentives

A girl looks at the camera.
A Uyghur girl in Turpan, a city in Xinjiang.

According to gender studies expert Leta Hong Fincher, the Chinese government has offered Uyghur couples incentives to have fewer children, and for women to marry outside of their race.[109] According to the outreach coordinator for the U.S.-based Uyghur Human Rights Project,[110] Zubayra Shamseden, the Chinese government "wants to erase Uighur culture and identity by remaking its women."[111]

Marriages between Uyghurs and Han Chinese persons are encouraged with subsidies by the government. In August 2014, local authorities in Cherchen County (Qiemo County) announced, "Incentive Measures Encouraging Uighur-Chinese Intermarriage," including a 10,000 CNY (US$1,450) cash reward per annum for the first five years to such intermarried couples as well as preferential treatment in employment and housing plus free education for the couples, their parents and offspring. County CCP Secretary Zhu Xin remarked:[112]

Our advocacy of intermarriage is promoting positive energy ... Only by promoting the establishment of a social structure, and community environment in which all ethnic groups are embedded in each other ... can we boost the great unity, ethnic fusion, and development of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and finally realize our China dream of the great rejuvenation of our Chinese nation

In October 2017, the marriage of a Han Chinese man from Henan Province to an Uyghur woman from Lop County was celebrated on the county's social media page:[113]

They will let ethnic unity forever bloom in their hearts,
Let ethnic unity become one's own flesh and blood.

Darren Byler, an anthropologist and China expert at the University of Washington, said that a social media campaign in 2020 to marry off 100 Uyghur women to Han Chinese men indicated that, "a certain racialized power dynamic is a part of this process," commenting, "It does seem as though this is an effort to produce greater assimilation and diminish ethnic difference by pulling Uighurs into Han-dominated relationships."[112]

According to reports from Radio Free Asia, in March 2017, Salamet Memetimin, an ethnic Uyghur and the Communist Party Secretary for Chaka township's Bekchan village in Qira County, Hotan Prefecture, was relieved of her duties for taking her nikah marriage vows at her home.[114] In interviews with Radio Free Asia in 2020, residents and officials of Shufu County (Kona Sheher), Kashgar Prefecture (Kashi) stated that it was no longer possible to perform traditional Uyghur nikah marriage rites in the county.[115]

Clothing

A Uyghur woman wearing a hijab in Xinjiang

Chinese authorities discourage the wearing of headscarves, veils, and other Islamic dress in the region. On May 20, 2014, a protest broke out in Alakaga (Alaqagha, Alahage), Kuqa (Kuchar, Kuche), Aksu Prefecture when 25 women and schoolgirls were detained for wearing headscarves. According to a local official, two died and five were injured when special armed police fired into the protesters. Subsequently, a Washington Post team was detained in Alakaga and ultimately deported from the region.[116][117][118][119]

Children's names

According to Radio Free Asia, in 2015, a list of banned names for children called "Naming Rules For Ethnic Minorities", was promulgated in Hotan, banning potential names including Islam, Quran, Mecca, Jihad, Imam, Saddam, Hajj, and Medina. Use of the list was later extended throughout Xinjiang.[120]

Human rights abuses

Inside internment camps

Torture

Mihrigul Tursun, a former detainee of the Xinjiang internment camps.

Human Rights Watch has alleged "'rampant abuses,' including torture and unfair trials" of the Uyghurs.[121]

Mihrigul Tursun, a young Uyghur mother, said that she was "tortured and subjected to other brutal conditions".[122] In 2018, Tursun gave testimony[123][124] during which she described her experience while at the camps; she was drugged, interrogated for days without sleep, subjected to intrusive medical examinations, and strapped in a chair and jolted with electricity. It was her third time being sent to a camp since 2015. Tursun told reporters that she remembers interrogators telling her: "Being a Uighur is a crime."[122] China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying has stated that Tursun was taken into custody by police on "suspicion of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination" for a period lasting 20 days, but denies that Tursun was ever detained in an internment camp.[125][126][127]

Another past detainee, Kayrat Samarkand, said that "'[t]hey made me wear what they called 'iron clothes,' a suit made of metal that weighed over 50 pounds... It forced my arms and legs into an outstretched position. I couldn't move at all, and my back was in terrible pain...They made people wear this thing to break their spirits. After 12 hours, I became so soft, quiet and lawful.'"[128]

Waterboarding is reportedly among the forms of torture which have been used as part of the indoctrination process.[129]

Compulsory sterilizations and contraception

Beginning in 2019, reports of forced sterilization in Xinjiang began to surface.[130][131][132] Zumrat Dwut, a Uyghur woman, claimed that she was forcibly sterilized by tubal ligation during her time in a camp before her husband was able to get her out through requests to Pakistani diplomats.[31][133] The Xinjiang regional government denies that she was forcibly sterilized.[31]

That same year, The Heritage Foundation reported that officials forced Uyghur women to take unknown drugs and liquids that caused them to lose consciousness, and sometimes caused them to stop menstruating.[27]

In 2020, public reporting continued to indicate that large-scale compulsory sterilization was being carried out,[134][135] with the Associated Press reporting that the there is a "widespread and systematic" practice of forcing Uyghur and other ethnic minority women to take birth control medication in the Xinjiang region.[29] Many women have stated that they have been forced to receive contraceptive implants.[28][136]

Brainwashing

Kayrat Samarkand described his camp routine in an article for NPR: "In addition to living in cramped quarters, he says inmates had to sing songs praising Chinese leader Xi Jinping before being allowed to eat. He says detainees were forced to memorize a list of what he calls '126 lies' about religion: 'Religion is opium, religion is bad, you must believe in no religion, you must believe in the Communist Party,' he remembers. 'Only [the] Communist Party could lead you to the bright future.'"[128]

Documents which were leaked to The New York Times by an anonymous Chinese official advised that "Should students ask whether their missing parents had committed a crime, they are to be told no, it is just that their thinking has been infected by unhealthy thoughts. Freedom is only possible when this 'virus' in their thinking is eradicated and they are in good health."[137]

The Heritage Foundation reported that "children whose parents are detained in the camps are often sent to state-run orphanages and brainwashed to forget their ethnic roots. Even if their parents are not detained, Uyghur children need to move to inner China and immerse themselves into the Han culture under the Chinese government's 'Xinjiang classrooms' policy."[27]

In 2021 Gulbahar Haitiwaji reported being coerced into denouncing her family after her daughter had been photographed at a protest in Paris.[138]

Labor

According to Quartz, the Xinjiang region is described as a "'cotton gulag' where prison labor is present in all steps of the cotton supply chain..."[139]

Tahir Hamut, an Uyghur Muslim, worked in a labor camp during elementary school when he was a child, and he later worked in a re-education camp as an adult, performing such tasks as picking cotton, shoveling gravel, and making bricks. "Everyone is forced to do all types of hard labor or face punishment," he said. "Anyone unable to complete their duties will be beaten."[140]

In December 2020, an investigative report by BuzzFeed News revealed that "[f]orced labor on a vast scale is almost certainly taking place" inside the Xinjiang internment camps, with 135 factory facilities identified within the camps covering over 21 million square feet of land.[141] The report noted that "[f]ourteen million square feet of new factories were built in 2018 alone" within the camps and that "former detainees said they were never given a choice about working, and that they earned a pittance or no pay at all".[141]

Medical experiments

Former inmates have claimed that they were subjected to medical experimentation.[142][143]

Organized mass rape

In January 2021, the BBC News reported accounts of organized mass rape carried out by Chinese authorities in the internment camps.[144][145][146]

Multiple women who were formerly detained in the Xinjiang internment camps have publicly made accusations of systemic sexual abuse, including rape, gang rapes, and sexual tortures, such as forced vaginal and anal penetrations with electric batons, and rubbing chili pepper paste on genitals.[147] Sayragul Sauytbay, a teacher who was forced to work in the camps, told the BBC that employees of the internment camp in which she was detained conducted rapes en masse, saying that camp guards "picked the girls and young women they wanted and took them away".[145] She also told the BBC of an organized gang rape, in which a woman around age 21 was forced to make a confession in front of a crowd of 100 other women detained in the camps, before being raped by multiple policemen in front of the assembled crowd.[145] In 2018, a Globe and Mail interview with Sauytbay indicated that she did not personally see violence at the camp, but did witness malnourishment and a complete lack of freedom.[148] Tursunay Ziawudun, a woman who was detained in the internment camps for a period of nine months, told the BBC that women were removed from their cells "every night" to be raped by Chinese men, and that she was subjected to three separate instances of gang rape while detained.[145] In an earlier interview, Ziawudun reported that while she "wasn’t beaten or abused" while in the camps, she was instead subjected to long interrogations, forced to watch propaganda, had her hair cut, was under constant surveillance, and kept in cold conditions with poor food, leading to her developing anemia.[149] Qelbinur Sedik, an Uzbek woman from Xinjiang, has stated that Chinese police sexually abused detainees during electric shock tortures, saying that "there were four kinds of electric shock... the chair, the glove, the helmet, and anal rape with a stick".[145]

China denies all allegations that there have been any human rights abuses within the internment camps.[145]

In February 2021 the BBC released an extensive report which alleged that systematic sexual abuse was taking place within the camps.[150] The gang rapes and sexual torture were alleged to be part of a systemic rape culture which included both policemen and those from outside the camps who pay for time with the prettiest girls.[144] CNN reported in February 2021 about a worker and several former female inmates which survived the camps; they provided details about murder, torture and rape in the camps, which they described as routinely occurring.[151]

Outside internment camps

IUDs and birth control

Researcher Adrian Zenz, citing the 2019 China Population and Employment Yearbook, reported that 80% of new IUD placements (insertions minus removals) in the People's Republic of China in 2018 occurred in Xinjiang, despite the region only constituting 1.8% of the country's population.[152][153][154] The data from the 2019 China Population and Employment Yearbook indicates that out of the increase in installed IUDs in the whole country, the portion of the net increase that occurred in Xinjiang made up 80%, while the portion of new placements without subtracting removals that occurred in Xinjiang was 8.7%.[155]

Zenz points out that birth rates in counties whose majority population consists of ethnic minorities began to fall in 2015, "the very year that the government began to single out the link between population growth and 'religious extremism'".[152]:8 Prior to the recent drops in birth rates, the Uyghur population had had a high growth rate, at 2.6 times the Han growth rate between 2005 and 2015.[152]:5

According to a fax provided to CNN by the Xinjiang regional government, birth rates in the Xinjiang region fell by 32.68% from 2017 to 2018.[31] In 2019, the birth rates fell by 24% year over year, a significantly greater drop than the 4.2% decline in births experienced across the entire People's Republic of China.[156][29][31] According to Zenz, natural population growth rates in Xinjiang fell by 84% in the two largest Uyghur prefectures between 2015 and 2018.[157]

The regional authorities do not dispute the decrease in birth rates but strongly deny that genocide and forced sterilization is occurring; Xinjiang authorities have publicly maintained that the decrease in birth rates is due to "the comprehensive implementation of the family planning policy." [31] The Chinese Embassy in the United States said the policy was positive and empowering for Uyghur women, writing that, "in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent."[158]

Forced cohabitation, co-sleeping, rape, and abortion

Beginning in 2018,[159] over one million Chinese Government workers began forcibly living in the homes of Uyghur families to monitor and assess resistance to assimilation, as well as to watch for frowned-upon religious and cultural practices.[160]

The “Pair Up and Become Family” program is a program during which Han Chinese assigned to monitor the homes of Uyghurs slept in the same beds as Uyghur women.[161] According to Radio Free Asia, these Han Chinese government workers have been trained to call themselves "relatives" and have been engaging in the forcible co-habitation of Uyghur homes for the purpose of promoting "ethnic unity".[160] Radio Free Asia reports that these men "regularly sleep in the same beds as the wives of men detained in the region’s internment camps."[162] Uyghur activists have criticized this program for being a part of a campaign of "mass rape disguised as 'marriage'"[161] and the "total annihilation of the safety, security and well-being of family members",[162] while Chinese officials have stated that co-sleeping is acceptable, provided that a distance of one meter is maintained between the women and the "relative" assigned to the Uyghur home.[161][162] Human Rights Watch has condemned the Pair Up and Become Family Program as a "deeply invasive forced assimilation practice."[162]

A 37-year-old pregnant woman from the Xinjiang region said that she attempted to give up her Chinese citizenship to live in Kazakhstan but was told by the Chinese government that she needed to come back to China to complete the process. She alleges that officials seized the passports of her and her two children before coercing her into receiving an abortion to prevent her brother from being detained in an internment camp.[163]

A book by Guo Rongxing on the unrest in Xinjiang states that the 1990 Baren Township riot protests were the result of 250 forced abortions imposed upon local Uyghur women by the Chinese government.[164]

Organ harvesting

Ethan Gutmann, a fellow at the conservative think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies and China watcher, concluded that organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience became prevalent when members of the Uyghur ethnic group were targeted in security crackdowns and "strike hard campaigns" during the 1990s. According to Gutmann, organ harvesting from Uyghur prisoners dropped off by 1999 with members of the Falun Gong religious group overtaking the Uyghurs as a source of organs.[165][166][167]

In the 2010s, concerns about organ harvesting from Uyghurs resurfaced.[168][169] According to a unanimous determination by the China Tribunal, China has persecuted and medically tested Uyghurs. Its report expressed concerns that Uyghurs were vulnerable to being subject to organ harvesting but did not yet have evidence of its occurrence.[170][171][172][173][174][175][176]

Forced labor

In March 2020, the Chinese government was found to be using the Uyghur minority for forced labor, inside sweat shops. According to a report published then by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), no fewer than around 80,000 Uyghurs were forcibly removed from the region of Xinjiang and used for forced labor in at least twenty-seven corporate factories.[177] According to the Business and Human Rights resource center, corporations such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Amazon, Apple, BMW, Fila, Gap, H&M, Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Nike, North Face, Puma, PVH, Samsung, and UNIQLO sourced from these factories.[178]

Use of biometric and surveillance technology

Chinese authorities have been utilizing biometric technology to track individuals in the Uyghur community.[159] According to Yahir Imin, a 38-year-old Uyghur, Chinese authorities in Xinjiang drew blood, scanned his face, recorded his fingerprints, and documented his voice.[159] As stated in the article written by Sui-Lee Wee, a key piece in China's strategy is to collect genetic material from millions of people in the Xinjiang region. The genetic material contributes to an extensive database that can track Uyghur individuals who defy the campaign. China has been exploring the use of facial recognition technology to sort people by ethnicity, and how to use DNA to tell if an individual is an Uyghur. According to an assistant professor at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Mark Munsterhjelm, The PRC is creating "technologies used for hunting people."[179]

In 2017, security-related construction tripled in Xinjiang. According to Charles Rollet, "the projects [in China] include not only security cameras but also video analytics hubs, intelligent monitoring systems, big data centers, police checkpoints, and even drones,"[180] with drone manufacturer DJI having provided surveillance drones to local police since 2017 as well.[181][182] The Ministry of Public Security has invested billions of dollars into two main government plans: the Skynet project (天网工程) and the Sharp Eyes project (雪亮工程).[180] These two projects combined are reaching to oversee China's population by the year 2020 through video camera facial recognition. According to Morgan Stanley, by 2020, there will be installments of 400 million security cameras.[180] Various Chinese start-ups have been building algorithms to allow the Chinese government to track the Muslim minority group. These start-ups include SenseTime, CloudWalk, Yitu, Megvii, and Hikvision.[183]

In July 2020, the United States Department of Commerce sanctioned 11 Chinese firms, two of which were subsidiaries of BGI Group, for violating the human rights of Uyghur Muslims and minorities belonging to other ethnicities in China, by exploiting their genetic sequence.[184] The BGI Group along with an Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud computing firm Group 42 – accused of espionage in 2019 – were named by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department in an October 2020 warning issued to Nevada against the use of the 200,000 COVID-19 test kits donated by UAE under the partnership of G42 and the BGI Group. The US intelligence agencies have warned of foreign powers exploiting patient's medical samples to dig into their medical history, genetic traits, illnesses, etc.[185]

Biometric data

Officials in Tumxuk have gathered hundreds of blood samples from Uyghur individuals, contributing to the campaign in mass-collecting DNA.[179] Tumxuk was named a "major battlefield for Xinjiang's security work" by the state news media.[179] In January 2018, a forensic DNA lab overseen by the Institute of Forensic Science of China was built in Tumxuk.[179] Documents from within the lab showed that the lab was supported by software created by Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts company.[179] This software was used in correspondence to create genetic sequencers, helpful in analyzing DNA. In response, Thermo Fisher declared in February that it would discontinue selling to the Xinjiang region as a result of "fact-specific assessments."[179]

GPS tracking on cars

Security officials have ordered residents in China's northwest region to install GPS tracking devices in their vehicles so authorities can track their movements. This measure affects residents in the Xinjiang region and authorities have claimed that it "is necessary to counteract the activities of Islamist extremists and separatists". An announcement from officials in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture proclaimed that "there is a severe threat from international terrorism, and cars have been used as a key means of transport for terrorists as well as constantly serving as weapons. It is, therefore, necessary to monitor and track all vehicles in the prefecture."[186]

Classification

Ethnocide or cultural genocide

Possibly the first person to define the problem as a "cultural genocide" was Adrian Zenz, a German academic, when he published an article in the Journal of Political Risk entitled "Break Their Roots: Evidence for China’s Parent-Child Separation Campaign in Xinjiang" in July 2019.[187] James Leibold, a professor at Australia's La Trobe University, in July 2019 called the treatment of Uyghurs by the Chinese government a "cultural genocide" and stated that "in their own words, party officials are 'washing brains' and 'cleansing hearts' to 'cure' those bewitched by extremist thoughts."[188]

Since the release of the Xinjiang papers and the China Cables in November 2019, various journalists and researchers have called the Chinese government's treatment of Uyghurs an ethnocide or a cultural genocide. In November 2019, Zenz described the classified documents as confirming "that this is a form of cultural genocide".[189] Foreign Policy published an article by Azeem Ibrahim in which he called the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs a "deliberate and calculated campaign of cultural genocide" after the release of the Xinjiang papers and China Cables.[190]

Genocide or crimes against humanity

In July 2020, Zenz said an interview with NPR (National Public Radio) that he had previously argued that the actions of the Chinese government are a cultural genocide, not a "literal genocide", but that one of the five criteria from the Genocide Convention was satisfied by more recent developments concerning the suppression of birth rates so "we do need to probably call it a genocide".[191] The same month, the last colonial governor of British Hong Kong, Chris Patten, said that the "birth control campaign" was "arguably something that comes within the terms of the UN views on sorts of genocide." and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China demanded an independent UN investigation. At roughly the same time, U.S. senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris urged the Trump administration to investigate the allegations.[192]

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum "There is a reasonable basis to believe that the government of China is committing crimes against humanity."[193][129]

Although the People's Republic of China (PRC) is not a member of the International Criminal Court, on 6 July 2020 the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement filed a complaint with the ICC calling for it to investigate PRC officials for crimes against Uyghurs including allegations of genocide.[194][195][196] The ICC responded in December 2020 and "asked for more evidence before it will be willing to open an investigation into claims of genocide against Uighur people by China, but has said it will keep the file open for such further evidence to be submitted."[197]

An August 2020 Quartz article reported that some scholars hesitate to label the human rights abuses in Xinjiang as a "full-blown genocide", preferring the term "cultural genocide", but that increasingly many experts were calling them "crimes against humanity" or "genocide".[196] Also in August 2020 the spokesperson for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign described China’s actions as genocide.[198]

In October 2020, the U.S. Senate introduced a bipartisan resolution designating the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.[16] Around the same time, the House of Commons of Canada issued a statement that its Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development was persuaded that the Chinese Communist Party's actions in Xinjiang constitute genocide as laid out in the Genocide Convention.[19] The 2020 annual report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China referred to the Chinese government's treatment of Uyghurs as "crimes against humanity and possibly genocide."[199][200]

When asked about the situation by a reporter British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that "what's happening to the Uyghurs is utterly abhorrent" but that "the attribution of genocide is a judicial matter".[201]

In January 2021 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US Government would be officially designating the crimes against the Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim people living in China as a genocide.[202] This declaration, which came in the final hours of the Trump administration, had not been made earlier due to a worry that it could disrupt trade talks between the US and China. On the allegations of crimes against humanity Pompeo asserted that "These crimes are ongoing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians, forced sterilization, torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and freedom of movement."[203] However despite this designation there was internal disagreement within the US government with the Office of the Legal Advisor concluding that the treatment of Uyghurs amounted to a crime against humanity but that there was insufficent evidence to conclude that it was genocide.[204]

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded to this designation by calling Pompeo a "doomsday clown”, and dismissing the allegations of genocide as “wastepaper” and “pseudo-propositions and a malicious farce concocted by individual anti-China and anti-Communist forces represented by Pompeo".[201]

On January 19 incoming US President Joe Biden's secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken was asked during his confirmation hearings whether he agreed with Pompeo's conclusion that the CCP has committed genocide against the Uyghurs, he contended "That would be my judgment as well."[205] During her confirmation hearings Joe Biden's nominee to be the US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that she believed what was currently happening in Xinjiang was a genocide, adding "I lived through and experienced and witnessed a genocide in Rwanda."[206]

In February 2021, it was reported that some legal advisors to the U.S. State Department concluded that although the situation in Xinjiang amounts to crimes against humanity, there was insufficient evidence to prove genocide.[207]

China's state run media has run op-eds and reports which dispute the use of the term “genocide.”[198]

International responses

Reactions at the United Nations

Protesters at the United Nations with the Flag of East Turkestan

In July 2019, 22 countries[note 1] issued a joint letter to the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), condemning China's mass detention of Uyghurs and other minorities, calling upon China to "refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of movement of Uyghurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang".[208][209][210]

In the same session, 50 countries[note 2] issued a joint letter supporting China's Xinjiang policies,[33][208] criticizing the practice of "politicizing human rights issues". The letter stated, "China has invited a number of diplomats, international organizations officials and journalist to Xinjiang" and that "what they saw and heard in Xinjiang completely contradicted what was reported in the media."[33]

In October 2019, 23 countries[note 3] issued a joint statement to the UN urging China to "uphold its national and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights".[211]

In response, 54 countries[note 4] (including China itself) issued a joint statement supporting China's Xinjiang policies. The statement "spoke positively of the results of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in Xinjiang and noted that these measures have effectively safeguarded the basic human rights of people of all ethnic groups."[212][213]

In February 2020, the UN demanded unobstructed access in advance of a proposed fact-finding visit to the region.[214]

In October 2020, more countries at the UN joined the condemnation of China over human rights abuses in Xinjiang with German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen speaking on behalf of the group.[34][35][215] The total number of countries that condemned China increased to 39[note 5], while the total number of countries that defended China decreased to 45[note 6]. Notably, 16 countries[note 7] that defended China in 2019 did not do so in 2020.[34]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights began to discuss the possibility of a visit to Xinjiang with China in order to examine "the impact on human rights of its policies" in September 2020.[216] Since then, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has since been negotiating terms of access to China, but the High Commissioner has not visited the country.[217] In February 2021, the Chinese Foreign Minister gave a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in which he stated that Xinjiang is "always open" for a visit from the United Nations.[217]

Reactions by country/region

Africa

Several African countries, including Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia, signed a July 2019 letter that publicly praised China's human rights record and dismissed reported abuses in Xinjiang.[218][219] Several African countries, including Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique and Sudan, signed an October 2019 letter that publicly expressed support for China's treatment of Uyghurs.[220]

Canada

In July 2020, The Globe and Mail reported that human rights activists, including retired politician Irwin Cotler, were encouraging the Parliament of Canada to recognize the Chinese actions against Uyghurs as genocide and impose sanctions on the officials responsible.[221]

On 21 October 2020, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR) of the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development condemned the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang by the Government of China and concluded that the Chinese Communist Party's actions amount to the genocide of the Uyghurs per the Genocide Convention.[222][223][224][225]

On 22 February 2021, the Canadian House of Commons voted 266–0 to approve a motion that formally recognizes China is committing genocide against its Muslim minorities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet did not vote.[226]

Europe

Pro-Uyghur protest in the Netherlands, Amsterdam on 5 February 2011

In addition to signing a joint statement regarding ethical violations affecting the Uyghur community in Xinjiang, countries such as Germany and Norway have taken further steps to express their opinions on this issue. Germany has called on China to provide UN human rights access to the camps.[227] Also, Norway has formed an anti-internment camp awareness group.[228]

In December 2020, France said it will oppose the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Investment between China and the European Union over the use of forced labour of Uyghurs.[229]

United Kingdom

On 10 October 2020, Britain's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Lisa Nandy suggested that Britain must oppose giving China a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council in protest against its abuse of Uyghur Muslims. She added that the UN must be allowed to conduct an inquiry into possible crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.[230]

In December 2020 the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Ephraim Mirvis published an op-ed in The Guardian on the occasion of hanukkah in which he condemned the persecution of the Uyghurs and called for international action to address the "unfathomable mass atrocity" taking place in China.[231][232] Mirvis is part of a wider Jewish protest movement which has sprung up in opposition to the human rights abuses in Xinjiang, protesters are largely motivated by memories of the holocaust and a desire to prevent a repeat of that horror.[233]

In January 2021, foreign secretary Dominic Raab made a statement over China's human rights violations against Uyghurs, accusing China of "extensive and invasive surveillance targeting minorities, systematic restrictions on Uighur culture, education, and the practice of Islam, and the widespread use of forced labour."[234]

In January 2021, The Guardian reported that the UK government "fended off an all-party effort to give the courts a chance to designate China guilty of genocide on the day that Blinken said China was intent on genocide in Xinjiang province."[235]

Middle East

Many countries in the Middle East signed a UN document defending China's human rights record.[218][236][220] A spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized the camps,[237]. Iraq and Iran have also signed the document[238] while Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been accused of deporting Uyghurs to China.[239][240][241][242][243] The United Arab Emirates has formally defended China's human rights records.[244] These countries have appreciated China's respect for the principle of non-interference in other countries' affairs and have therefore placed significance on their economic and political relations.[245] Qatar supported China's policies in Xinjiang until August 21, 2019; Qatar was the first Middle Eastern country to withdraw its defense of the Xinjiang Camps.[246][247][248]

Netherlands

In February 2021, the Netherlands parliament passed a non-binding resolution declaring China's actions in Xinjiang as a genocide.[249]

New Zealand

In 2018, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern raised the issue of Xinjiang while visiting Guangdong Party Secretary Leader Li Xi. Ardern also raised such concerns during China's periodic review at the UN in November 2018, to immediate pushback from China.[250]

Ardern discussed Xinjiang privately with Xi Jinping during a 2019 visit to Beijing after the Christchurch mosque shootings. The New York Times accused New Zealand of tiptoeing around the issue for economic reasons as the country exports many products to China, including milk, meat, and wine.[251]

South Asia

Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have signed a UN document supporting China's action in Xinjiang.[252][220]

Ex-Soviet states

Russia, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan have expressed support for China's treatment of Uyghurs on multiple occasions.[219][220] Russia signed both statements at the UN (in July and October 2019) that supported China's Xinjiang policies.[220][209][33] NPR reported that Kazakhstan and "its neighbors in the mostly Muslim region of Central Asia that have benefited from Chinese investment aren't speaking up for the Muslims inside internment camps in China".[253]

Southeast Asia

Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines have issued statements of support for China's policies.[218] Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia have all deported Uyghur people at China's request.[254]

In December 2009, the Uyghur American Association expressed concern at the deportation of 20 Uyghur refugees from Cambodia to China.[255]

Japan

In February 2021, a policy was established by 12 Japanese companies to cease business deals with some of the Chinese firms that were involved or getting benefits from the forced labor of Uighurs in Xinjiang.[256]

Turkey

Turkey has strongly condemned the actions of China against the Uyghur, signed a bill to reduce FDI from the Chinese state and has threatened to ban Huawei 5G infrastructure in Turkey.[257]

United States

Uyghur human rights demonstration protest near the White House, on September 25th, 2015

The United States Congress passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in reaction to the internment camps.[258][259] A senior US diplomat called upon other countries to join the United States denunciations against the Chinese government's policies in Xinjiang.[245] The Uyghur American Association has claimed that Beijing's military approach to terrorism in Xinjiang is state terrorism.[260] The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has issued statements[261][262][263] about the conditions in Xinjiang writing in part:

The Chinese government's campaign against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang is multi-faceted and systematic. It is characterized by mass detention, forced labor, and discriminatory laws, and supported through high-tech manners of surveillance.[264]

US Senators Menendez and Cornyn are leading a bipartisan group that is pushing to recognize the CCP's actions in Xinjiang as a genocide by way of a Senate resolution. This would make the United States Senate the first government to "officially recognize the situation as a genocide."[265] Senators Cornyn, Merkley, Cardin, and Rubio signed a letter to request Mike Pompeo—the Secretary of State—to issue a determination of genocide. The National Review reports that "U.S. government genocide determinations are an incredibly tricky thing. They require solid evidence to meet the criteria set out under the 1948 Genocide Convention." When determinations are issued there isn't much change or an effect that they will bring in the short run. Although, "there's a strong, well-documented case for a determination in this case."[265]

On 19 January 2021, the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the United States Department of State had determined that "genocide and crimes against humanity" had been perpetrated by China against the Uyghurs,[36] with Pompeo stating: "the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz… [i]n the anguished cries from Xinjiang, the U.S. hears the echoes of Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur."[266] The announcement was made on the last day of the presidency of Donald Trump. At the time, the incoming Biden administration had, as the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign, already declared that such a determination should be made, and that America would continue to recognize the Xinjiang activity as a genocide.[36][266]

Xinjiang boycott advert on NYU's campus in New York, NY
"Boycott Xinjiang Genocide Products!
抵制新疆种族灭绝产品!
Also don't attack our Chinese neighbors.
Just say no to xenophobia and racism!"

On February 16 in a CNN town hall meeting in Wisconsin, U.S. President Joe Biden commmented that Xi Jinping's rationale for justifying his policies, the idea that there "must be a united, tightly controlled China", derives from the fact that "Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow."[267] He also promised in the same meeting that "there will be repercussions for China" for its human rights violations.[268] Some sources interpreted Biden's statements as excusing Chinese policy towards Uyghurs on cultural relativist grounds, but others have said this is a misrepresentation. [269][270][271][268]

NGO reactions

As of July 2020, Amnesty International has not taken a position on whether the Chinese government's treatment of Uyghurs constituted a genocide.[221] Genocide Watch "considers the forced sterilizations and forcible transfer of children of Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in Xinjiang to be acts of genocide" and subsequently issued a Genocide Emergency Alert in November 2020.[272]

In January 2020, President Ghulam Osman Yaghma of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile wrote that "the world is silently witnessing another Holocaust like genocide in East Turkistan....as the President of East Turkistan Government-in-Exile, on behalf of East Turkistan and its people, we again call on the international community including world governments to acknowledge and recognize China's brutal Holocaust like the oppression of East Turkistan's people as a genocide."[273]

In September 2020, nearly two dozen activist groups, including the Uyghur Human Rights Project, Genocide Watch, and the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, signed an open letter for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to investigate whether crimes against humanity or genocide were taking place in Xinjiang.[274]

Official visits to the camps

China has invited more than 1,000 diplomats, officials of international organizations, journalists, and religious personages to visit Xinjiang. Many diplomats, officials, and journalists from various countries have already visited the region.[32][275][276][277][278][279]

UN counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov visited Xinjiang in 2019 and found nothing incriminating at the camps.[280][281][282] The visit prompted anger from the U.S. State Department.[283]

In July 2019, a joint letter signed by 50 nations at the United Nations Human Rights Council addressed official visits to China's Xinjiang region:

"China has invited a number of diplomats, international organizations officials and journalist to Xinjiang to witness the progress of the human rights cause and the outcomes of counter-terrorism and deradicalization there. What they saw and heard in Xinjiang completely contradicted what was reported in the media."

The U.S. has called these visits "highly choreographed" and characterized them as having "propagated false narratives."[284]

2022 Winter Olympics Boycott

In the aftermath of the 2019 leak of the Xinjiang papers which made public Chinese policies towards the Uyghurs, calls were made for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics.[285][286][287][288] In a July 30, 2020 letter, the World Uyghur Congress urged the International Olympic Committee to reconsider the decision to hold the Olympics in Beijing.[289][290]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ July 2019 signatories opposing China's actions in Xinjiang:
    Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
  2. ^ July 2019 signatories supporting China's actions in Xinjiang:
    • original signatories: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, The Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, The Philippines, Qatar (see below), Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe;
    • subsequently added signatories: Bangladesh, Djibuti, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Mozambique, Nepal, Palestine (the Palestinian Authority), Serbia, South Sudan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zambia.
    Note that Qatar quickly retracted their support after originally signing.[208]
  3. ^ Including the U.S.A., Canada, Japan and Australia.
  4. ^ Including Belarus, Pakistan, Russia, Egypt, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Serbia.
  5. ^ October 2020 signatories opposing China's actions in Xinjiang:
    Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.A.[34]
  6. ^ October 2020 signatories supporting China's actions in Xinjiang:
    Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kiribati, Laos, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, North Korea, Pakistan, State of Palestine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, the U.A.E., Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.[34]
  7. ^ October 2020 non-signatories to the statement supporting China's actions in Xinjiang who had expressed support in 2019:
    Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, the Philippines, Serbia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.[34]

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